2019 September 19

Along the Western Veil
Image Credit & Copyright:
Min Xie

Explanation: Delicate in appearance, these filaments of shocked, glowing gas, are draped across planet Earth’s sky toward the constellation of Cygnus. They form the western part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the original supernova explosion likely reached Earth over 5,000 years ago. Blasted out in the cataclysmic event, the interstellar shock wave plows through space sweeping up and exciting interstellar material. The glowing filaments are really more like long ripples in a sheet seen almost edge on, remarkably well separated into atomic hydrogen (red) and oxygen (blue-green) gas. Also known as the Cygnus Loop, the Veil Nebula now spans nearly 3 degrees or about 6 times the diameter of the full Moon. While that translates to over 70 light-years at its estimated distance of 1,500 light-years, this telescopic image of the western portion spans about half that distance. Brighter parts of the western Veil are recognized as separate nebulae, including The Witch’s Broom (NGC 6960) along the top of this view and Pickering’s Triangle (NGC 6979) below and left.

Min Xie

说明:这些外观精美的激震炽热丝状气飘浮在地球天空中的天鹅座方向,并构成了面纱星云的西部。面纱星云本身是一颗巨超新星遗迹,是一颗大质量恒星死亡爆炸所产生的扩张碎片云。来自原始超新星爆炸的光很可能在五千多年前就到达地球。此次激变事件中的星际震波穿越太空,横扫并激发了星际物质。实际上,这些炽热云气丝更像几乎侧向我们的层状结构中的长长涟漪,引人注目的是,它们恰好被分成氢原子(红色)和氧原子(蓝绿色)气体。目前,亦称为天鹅圈的面纱星云跨度将近3度,大约是满月直径的6倍。然而,以它的估计距离1,500光年来计算,该星云的大小超过了70光年,这幅呈现面纱星云西部的望远镜影像跨度约为其一半。在这幅影像中,西面纱星云的较明亮区域被认为是独立的星云,包括位于顶部的女巫的扫帚星云(NGC 6960)和位于左下方的皮克林三角星云(NGC 6979)。

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